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Thread: WTC Memorial - by Michael Arad (Architect) and Peter Walker (Landscape)

  1. #31


    Not everyone in the art world is impressed with the Arad/Walker design for the WTC Site Memorial as this article describes at:

    Justin Davidson, a staff writer for Newsday, comments on the recent performance by the Orchestra of St. Luke's given at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Davidson's complaint centers around the music's overdone sense of righteousness in depicting the themes of death, war and misery. The author delves further into history and derives a comparison of a piece of memorial music with the current design for the WTC Site Memorial in which he states:

    Jumping ahead a couple of generations, St. Luke's gave the world premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis' shamelessly derivative "Sarabande in Memoriam," which proved just as characterless and glum a Sept. 11 memorial as its architectural counterpart, designed by Michael Arad for the World Trade Center site. Both make use of recycled symbols of sorrow, arranged into blandly solemn forms. Where Arad calls on sheets of falling water reminiscent of an office park plaza, Kernis chooses a still frieze of strings and decorous dissonances that bloom and fade away.

    For me, the monothematic nature of the memorial design largely is what tends to give this "characterless and glum" appearance, if one defines the memorial as the Arad portion of the design.

  2. #32


    An Interview With WTC Memorial Designer Michael Arad

    March 2, 2004

    Architect Michael Arad was selected in January to design the World Trade Center Memorial. Arad, who lives in New York, has worked for the New York City Housing Authority and for New York-based Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF). He is working on the memorial project with a team that consists mostly of designers from KPF.

    ARCHITECTURAL RECORD: Can you describe your reaction when your design was chosen for the memorial?

    MICHAEL ARAD: It didn't feel quite real. It took me a few hours to understand it, and I still have that "reality check" experience every once in a while. It's astounding to find myself in this position, and it's very daunting. Really, all I can do is not focus on that aspect, but focus on what I would like to accomplish.

    AR: Can you describe the design process for Reflecting Absence?

    MA: I started thinking about the idea a few months after September 11. I envisioned a memorial that would be on the Hudson River, close to the site. You would walk up to the river's edge and you'd see these two voids which would be sort of inexplicable-how do you have voids in the river? Then I became very curious about how it could work, and I tested it time and time again. I went to the model shop that I used to go to when I worked at KPF. I spent a few days there with [model builders] Edison Morales and Jamil Awad, and we built this functioning model together. I bought one of those little desktop fountains from Bed Bath & Beyond and broke it open and tore the pump out. It was a fairly complicated little fountain and it worked, which amazed me, because I drew it and drew it, but when you actually poured water into it and plugged it in and it started flowing, it was an amazing moment to see it. At that point I put it aside for a few months and focused on going back to work. Then came the competition. I thought, how would I take this idea that I've been working on for a long time and apply it to the site? I had the idea of creating these two voids, with water flowing away from you and into this void that never fills. The space needed to be a procession: You're moving from space to space focusing on each area. The space also needed to be intimate enough for each person to have their own experience, an understanding of that day.

    AR: What does the design symbolize to you?

    MA: I don't want to be too literal about the interpretation of the design. I think it should be something that is open to different readings, so different people can bring their own understanding to the memorial. But one idea that was important to me was reflecting the continued absence in our lives brought upon by these deaths. So the void remains empty though water flows into it.

    AR: Can you describe your working relationship with [master planner] Daniel Libeskind?

    MA: Daniel's been really supportive, and he's been very generous in his praise. I'm very grateful. He understands that there's a basic premise to this site very much in sync with his idea. While he envisioned a single, large void, this is about the creation of two. If he was upset [with my design], I'm not aware of that.

    AR: How did you choose Peter Walker as a design partner?

    MA: I've known and admired Peter's work for years. I thought we could find a solution together that would reinforce my intentions of minimalism and an architecture experience. I haven't seen many landscapes like his that aremodern and minimal without being cold and reductive.

    AR: Why did you choose to arrange the names of victims in random order?

    MA: I thought that listing the names alphabetically would impose an order upon the haphazard brutality of that day. I wanted the names as they were listed to reflect the events of the day. I wanted each location to be unique and distinct, belonging to that person alone. Not a reflection of where that name is in the continuum of the alphabet. Many people don't have a grave they can go to. I though this would give people the ability to go to a place that was uniquely theirs. There will be a directory to help people find their loved ones, and there will be staff on hand to assist people.

    AR: Many family members have expressed an interest in leaving some artifacts from September 11 above ground. Do you plan to do this?

    MA: When I saw the artifacts I was struck by how moving they are, but also by how fragile they are. They're decomposing, rusting away at this hanger at JFK airport. So I wanted to find a way in which I could bring them back to the site and preserve them from the elements. I also didn't want to leave the artifacts as an open-ended experience. I think in the memorial center there's an opportunity to talk about the history of that day and to have different curators involved in that effort. To exhibit them in a way in which their significance is explained. We don't want them to sit there without anything to accompany them. I want to exhibit themin an environment in which their history can be told in a more didactic manner.

    AR: What kind of timeline do you have?

    MA: The timelines are fluid. One thing I heard was to finish construction by 2008. Any estimate at this point is a guess because of the complexity of everything that's going on. It's intense right now because we're playing catch up with the other projects which have been planned for a long time.

    AR: What parts of the design are the most essential?

    MA: I think one of them is to have the plaza be as unencumbered as possible so that it really reads as a single, flat, level plain on which these two voids are in sight. The moment that plain starts being eroded or pushed upon then the sense of those two voids disappears. They're enormous spaces, but they also need a large plain for their absence to be noticed.

    AR: Do you think the trees can distract from that?

    MA: Yes. There's a very deliberate strategy as to how we will approach the trees to really emphasize the void and the totality of the field that you're standing on. It's very much about shaping the trees in a way that will emphasize the horizontality, and a canopy condition overhead. The tree trunks would be a sort of very healthy, very critical element which create a screen in effect, but they can't create visual obstructions with low branches.

    AR: How has this assignment affected your life?

    MA: One thing I really liked about working for the Housing Authority is that in addition to working on great design and public projects, it was also a great job for balancing family and work. With many other New York it's extremely time intensive, working late every night is very common. So this was a job which I was happy with the type of work I was doing and the amount of time I that I had to spend at home with my family. But I doubt that I will have that much time for the next few years to spend at home with my family. Lately I've been working very, very long hours. It's all consuming - it's every waking hour of the day and then waking a few times during the night with 'oh, I need to do this, need to do that' - making lists and you don't get to do half of the things that are on your list. But I think it's settling to a sort of more structured framework, it will be easier to handle this process.

  3. #33


    The New York Post

    March 3, 2004

    WTC Memorial War



    Ground Zero memorial designer Michael Arad has warned development officials in a letter that an escalating dispute over how to run the $350 million project could "prevent" his design from being built, sources told The Post.

    The conflict reached a critical point this week when the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. issued a call for bids, seeking an established architectural firm to work on the project with the inexperienced Arad, who until last month was employed by the city Housing Authority.

    Sources said Arad, 34, objected to the call for bids and lobbied for greater control over who is selected - warning LMDC president Kevin Rampe in a Feb. 23 letter that the dispute should be worked out "to avoid any future embarrassment to LMDC or the design team."

    Yesterday, Arad refused to discuss the letter, but downplayed his differences with the LMDC.

    "I am a registered architect in New York but I don't have the resources that a large firm has . . . This is one way of putting together the type of team that is necessary," Arad said, adding that he is "happy" with the process.

    Sources familiar with the dispute said LMDC officials are wary of putting the $350 million budget for the "Reflecting Absence" memorial in the hands of someone who has never run a large project.

    They also say that because federal money is involved, they must put major pieces of the work out to public bid.

    Arad has also been fighting with the LMDC over how much space he has to work with at Ground Zero, saying in his letter that if the agency sticks to a narrowly defined project area around the footprints of the Twin Towers, it "will prevent the memorial design that was presented to the jury and public from being built."

    The LMDC shot back in a letter the same day, saying the accusation "is simply not true."

    Arad, who won the design competition in January, wants to extend the memorial boundaries to include surrounding sidewalks, the area around a proposed Liberty Street truck ramp and a new park south of Liberty Street.

    The conflict has been brewing since Arad told LMDC officials in a tense meeting Feb. 12 that he held a "public mandate" as memorial designer and should have direct control over hiring - a proposal Rampe rejected. Sources said a lawyer for Arad responded by saying he had personal connections to Gov. Pataki and Charles Gargano, head of the LMDC's parent agency, the Empire State Development Corp. - prompting an angry Rampe to walk out.

    The LMDC refused to discuss the dispute, saying in a statement, "We're committed to ensuring that the design by Michael Arad . . . is realized."

    Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

  4. #34


    Ground Zero Guy Demands Control, Readies A Battle

    by Blair Golson

    Ground Zero memorial designer Michael Arad is pushing to gain total control of the project’s $350 million budget, as well as the power to personally hire construction and engineering firms, determine the treatment of the western slurry wall that was a feature of architect Daniel Libeskind’s plan for the site, and make all long-term scheduling decisions, according to several sources close to the rebuilding effort.

    The sources, who spoke to The Observer on the condition of anonymity, said that Mr. Arad’s (and his attorneys’) aggressive push has strained relations between the architect and authorities charged with rebuilding the 16-acre site.

    But Mr. Arad told The Observer in a brief interview that he was only working to ensure that his original design for the memorial survives the famously tortuous political environment in which the new World Trade Center is taking shape.

    As the lead architect on the World Trade Center memorial, Mr. Arad has final say over issues pertaining to the design of the project. But the ultimate authority for all non-design issues on the memorial lies with his client, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the public-private agency charged with rebuilding lower Manhattan.

    "Michael wants unlimited control, without any checks on his responsibilities," said a source close to the situation. "He does not believe that anybody, including the LMDC, should have any control over how the memorial gets built. He wants the LMDC to give him $350 million and then tell them, ‘Come back in five years and see what I built.’"

    While acknowledging that there had been some "difficulties" and "hiccups" along the way, Mr. Arad emphatically denied the allegation that he was trying to take near-absolute control over the memorial process. Instead, he suggested that others were misinterpreting his efforts to safeguard the integrity of his design.

    "I have not been power-grabbing in any way," he said. "I’m trying to make sure that what I presented to the public is what gets built …. If people read other things into it, then that’s unfortunate."

    This dispute is coming to a head as Mr. Arad and the LMDC are negotiating the terms of a long-term contract that will codify Mr. Arad’s responsibilities, pay and powers.

    Sources close to the situation said Mr. Arad has been hinting that he might walk off the site if the LMDC does not cede to him the degree of authority he wants. In addition, two sources said that Mr. Arad implicitly threatened LMDC president Kevin Rampe by telling him that he might take his grievances to the public.

    "I don’t want to embarrass you by going public—that I’m losing influence over the design," two rebuilding officials remembered Mr. Arad telling Mr. Rampe.

    Mr. Rampe declined to comment on the alleged threat and said of his dealings with Mr. Arad, "The LMDC is committed to ensuring that the design by Michael Arad and Peter Walker that was selected by the jury is achieved." Mr. Arad, after a brief interview with The Observer, did not return repeated requests for an additional interview.

    The Big Break

    When Mr. Arad won his career-making commission from the 13-member jury panel composed of artists, architects, politicians and Sept. 11 family members who chose him out of a pool of 5,201 applicants, many in the internecine-gossip network of New York architects posited that the 34-year-old had been chosen because his design could be railroaded into something that answered more political questions than ethical, emotional or architectural ones.

    Indeed, the 16-acre lot where Mr. Arad is carving out a sphere of influence is perhaps the most emotionally scarred and politically charged patch of real estate in the country—no less so when Mr. Arad was chosen in January, more than two years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

    At the time, Mr. Arad had a $50,000-a-year job as an assistant architect with the City Housing Authority, where he was helping to design a police station.

    Mr. Arad’s design, entitled Reflecting Absence, turns the footprints of the fallen Twin Towers into two sunken reflecting pools, fed by cascading streams of water. After becoming a finalist, and at the recommendation of the jury, Mr. Arad brought on a landscape architect, Peter Walker, to add trees and greenery to his barren concrete plaza.

    Mr. Arad has said that he didn’t mind sharing credit with Mr. Walker, but as one memorial jury member told The Observer, he didn’t really have a choice.

    "It’s quite clear that Walker and Arad together make the design," said juror James Young, a professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. "Neither by himself would have been chosen." (Mr. Young stressed that he did not observe in Mr. Arad any of the power-grabbing tendencies that are now being alleged.)

    The Observer has learned, however, that even before Mr. Arad brought Mr. Walker on as a teammate, some members of Mr. Arad’s original team were already upset with him for not sharing credit on his design.

    During a frantic two-week period before the deadline for memorial submissions in June, Mr. Arad sought out the help of three of his architect friends to help him develop his original idea of two sunken reflecting pools. Two of those friends, Bruno Caballé and Lihi Gerstner, who are married, hosted the late-night working party at their place. Together, the three friends—along with a fourth, Manhattan architect Eric Howeler—worked out many of proposal’s conceptual and technicalissues.

    As the deadline neared, however, strains began to form in the group over creative differences on the design.

    Ms. Gerstner said that she and Mr. Caballé disliked "the dryness of the direct environment around the pools." Nevertheless, they deferred to Mr. Arad as the leader of the group.

    When Mr. Arad was selected as a finalist, however, and his design went up on display at the Winter Graden, there was no mention—in written form, or in the video that accompanied his display—of the help that he had received from any of his three friends.

    Mr. Howeler said he didn’t take offense at the omission, but it angered Mr. Caballé and Ms. Gerstner to the point that they said they are no longer speaking to Mr. Arad.

    "I don’t want to put Michael down," Mr. Caballé told The Observer from Paris. "I’m happy for him and, on the other hand, I don’t want to hear from him.

    "The thing that most offended me," Mr. Caballé continued, "was when I saw that he mentioned the people who wrote the [presentation video’s] music, and he forgot to mention us. He had a detailed list of people who were involved, and he forgot us—and that was very offending."

    Mr. Arad could not be reached for a response.

    Round 2

    The dispute over Mr. Arad’s role at the memorial comes a few months after Ground Zero master planner Daniel Libeskind bitterly feuded with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill architect David Childs over whose vision would prevail in the forging of the Freedom Tower, the signature skyscraper at Ground Zero.

    But even before Mr. Arad emerged as the winner of the memorial competition, he had his own battles to face, as some members of the city’s fire and police departments criticized the design for listing the names of uniformed Sept. 11 victims alongside those of non–rescue workers. Mr. Arad came up with the compromise of leaving the listing of the names in random order, but putting an FDNY or NYPD shield insignia next to the names of the uniformed victims. Though the compromise didn’t satisfy everyone, the LMDC, along with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor George Pataki, publicly backed Mr. Arad on his decision, saying that they would, in the end, defer to him on design issues.

    Rebuilding sources are drawing a contrast between that dispute, along with that of Messrs. Libeskind and Childs—which were essentially disputes over design and vision—and the current conflict, in which they allege that Mr. Arad is trying to assert control over the bigger-picture issues like the selection of engineers, money allocations and scheduling issues, which are the domain of the LMDC.

    Rebuilding sources said a check on Mr. Arad’s powers is especially necessary given his inexperience.

    "You have a 34-year-old, without any experience whatsoever with respect to a project like this, going forward and trying to take on a project that architects with 20 years of experience don’t get the opportunity to undertake," said a source close to the matter. "It could cause cost overruns, delays and prevent the memorial ultimately from being built."

    Delays or other snafus stemming from perceived mismanagement could be especially disastrous on this project, the source said, because the memorial will be funded by private donations.

    "People are going to want to know that there’s somebody in charge of it who knows how to get a project done," said the source. "Someone with a proven track record."

    Toward that end, the LMDC on March 1 sent out a request for proposals for an associate architectural firm to assume day-to-day responsibility of handling the bricks-and-mortar construction of the memorial. According to the R.F.P., the firm would work "with" the design team of Mr. Arad and Mr. Walker. Final decisions would still be subject to the LMDC’s approval.

    "It reconciles the need for Michael to be in control of the vision with the LMDC’s government obligation to monitor the control of funds and make sure project deadlines are met," said a source close to the process.

    Several officials said Mr. Arad chafed at the idea of handing off some of his authority to another firm—an allegation that Mr. Arad denies.

    "The R.F.P. we issued [on Monday] is something we can all stand behind," Mr. Arad said, "and we have confidence that it will bring about the kind of association between my office and that of the associate architect’s to the benefit of the memorial."

    Ever since becoming a finalist, Mr. Arad’s work for the LMDC has been bound by the terms of a preliminary contract. It has allowed him to make short-term and limited hires of engineering and architectural firms to help him shore up his blueprints. Mr. Arad and the LMDC are currently negotiating the terms of a permanent contract, which will spell out his duties, powers and pay in detail. Mr. Walker, the landscape architect, will likely be signing a similar contract.

    Mr. Arad has retained construction lawyer Michael De Chiara to advise him on his negotiations. According to several sources close to the rebuilding effort, Mr. De Chiara’s aggressive positioning of his client has sent a chill through the memorial-building process.

    If Mr. Arad is a relative stranger to the political machinations at the heart of a project like rebuilding Ground Zero, Mr. De Chiara is a veteran, having represented powerhouse firms like Tishman Speyer, Bovis and famed architect Richard Meier.

    His attendance with Mr. Arad at LMDC planning meetings became so onerous that Mr. Rampe, the LMDC president, confirmed that he has asked Mr. Arad not to bring the lawyer to any future non-legal meetings.

    One source close to the rebuilding effort said that it "wasn’t helpful" when Mr. De Chiara dropped in conversation the names of Mr. Pataki and his development czar, Charles Gargano, in what the official took as an implicit reminder of Mr. De Chiara’s political connections.

    Mr. De Chiara, for his part, said that his discussions with the LMDC have been "professional" and devoid of any "serious disagreements whatsoever." Regarding the name-dropping, Mr. Chiara recalled the conversation in question, but said it was absolutely not his intention to imply that he was throwing around political muscle. Rather, in response to the LMDC’s repeated emphasis on bringing the project in on time and on budget, Mr. De Chiara said he was making reference to the fact that he understood the political realities, and therefore understood why budget and timing issues were so important.

    "It was in that context that we said we understood the political process," he said. "Names might have been dropped to emphasize the point. They were never mentioned to say that I have political clout—because, frankly, I don’t have any."

    Mr. De Chiara has been working pro bono for Mr. Arad up to this point, but he wants to begin charging when it comes time to hammer out Mr. Arad’s long-term contract.

    Mr. De Chiara confirmed that Mr. Arad has asked the LMDC to pay for the eventual legal bill—a potentially odd arrangement in which Mr. De Chiara would essentially be maneuvering against his paymasters. Mr. De Chiara said that he didn’t expect the LMDC to agree to that arrangement, and would consider continuing to work pro bono.

    You may reach Blair Golson via email at:

    This column ran on page 1 in the 3/8/2004 edition of The New York Observer.

  5. #35


    This guy sounds like a real brat.

  6. #36


    Mr. Arad has asked the LMDC to pay for the eventual legal bill—a potentially odd arrangement in which Mr. De Chiara would essentially be maneuvering against his paymasters.
    Chutzpah :!:

  7. #37


    March 23, 2004

    After Disaster, a Design for Living


    BATH, England

    No poetry, no passion, no poignant sentiment about reflecting absence. Just "the Monument," like The Times of London is just "The Times." As a tourist, you might have passed it by, hardly noticing, the last time you were there: a tall Doric column crowned with a gilt-bronze urn at the head of London Bridge, a few hundred yards from the Tower. It has stood for more than 300 years, reminding the curious that in 1666 one of the greatest cities in the Western world was utterly destroyed.

    Our need to commemorate catastrophe runs deep. The Great Fire of London broke out early on the morning of Sunday, Sept. 2, 1666, in a bakery on Pudding Lane. Fanned by high winds and a sluggish response, the flames spread quickly through the city until night turned into day and the streets ran bright with molten lead. When the gales finally died down three days later, most of London was homeless and huddled in fields outside the city walls. Around 436 acres had burned; 13,000 houses had been destroyed; nearly $18 million had been lost at a time when that amount represented around 800 times the City of London's total annual income.

    Most everyone said it was a terrorist attack: London had been firebombed by the Dutch, French Catholics, Quaker insurgents. Quakers? Everyone was wrong, although that didn't stop foreigners from being kicked in the street. It didn't stop the authorities from putting up another memorial on the site of the Pudding Lane bakery, a simple stone plaque that declared, "Here by the permission of heaven hell broke loose upon this Protestant city from the malicious hearts of barbarous Papists." It didn't prevent the prigs from moralizing or England's enemies from dancing in the streets.

    On Sept. 11, 1666, Christopher Wren presented King Charles II with his vision of London. Others followed hot on his heels, until it seemed that every educated gentleman in England had his own plan for the capital. Some were pathetically simple: checkerboard grids stamped out on the old site with no feeling for tradition or topography. Others were inspired. Wren's design was magnificent, offering Londoners an array of wide avenues and axial vistas, with a new financial district, residential plazas and a Thames-side development that rivaled anything in Europe.

    But none of these grand plans took any account of what ordinary Londoners wanted. So ordinary Londoners took matters into their own hands. Let the authorities argue over the big public buildings. Let the Church of England argue over which churches should be replaced, and which should be left in ruins. With no insurance, no compensation, no government help, people buckled down and rebuilt their homes and shops. They made London rise like a phoenix from the ashes. The big memorials like St. Paul's Cathedral and the City of London churches took 50 more years.

    And the monument by the bridge? It came about because Parliament's post-fire legislation mandated that a column or pillar of brass or stone be put up on or near the site of the Pudding Lane bakery — "the better to preserve the memory of this dreadful visitation." In the 17th century, that was all you needed in the way of a mission statement. The memorial column, 202 feet high and 202 feet west of the site of the bakery, was just that — a memorial, not a substitute for living.

    In 2004 we have this weird conviction that because the World Trade Center was such a magnificent landmark, whatever replaces it must be bigger, better, more spectacular — otherwise the terrorists will have won. And maybe we should see a dreadful visitation like 9/11 as an architectural opportunity. The architects and surveyors charged with the task of rebuilding London after the fire felt much the same.

    But in 1666 ordinary traders and merchants and craftsmen just wanted to get on with the everyday business of living. They ignored the planners and visionaries. Of course there's a place for grandiose memorials; but let's not forget that in the aftermath of catastrophe there is also room for the commonplace. The real monument to the Great Fire of London is not a column with a flaming urn on top. It is London itself. In 300 years, I hope that New York, in talking of 9/11, will be able to say the same.

    Adrian Tinniswood is the author of "By Permission of Heaven: The True Story of the Great Fire of London" and "His Invention So Fertile: A Life of Christopher Wren."

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  8. #38


    April 7, 2004

    Top Firms Apply to Aid in Design at Memorial


    Some of the best-known, largest and most prolific design firms in New York are vying to be named associate architect for the World Trade Center site memorial.

    Technically, the associate's role would be to help Michael Arad and Peter Walker realize their competition-winning plan, "Reflecting Absence," with two voids where the twin towers stood. But the caliber of the firms being considered by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation suggests that they might also play an influential role in refining the evolving design.

    "I think this will be a collaborative process," Mr. Arad said yesterday. "I hope it will be."

    Firms in the running are understood to include Davis Brody Bond; Fox & Fowle Architects; Gensler; Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects; Hillier Group; Polshek Partnership Architects; and Swanke Hayden Connell Architects. The corporation board is expected to consider the matter next week.

    "I'm really happy with the response we've had to the R.F.P.," Mr. Arad said in a telephone interview, referring to the request for proposals issued last month by the corporation. "The reason you're seeing firms that would normally not respond to an R.F.P. like this is because of the importance of the project."

    By issuing the request, the corporation implicitly acknowledged that the job of designing a project worth $175 million to $250 million, particularly given the complex site, might be too much for Mr. Arad, who has been a registered architect for only a year, and Mr. Walker, even though he is an experienced landscape architect.

    "It's not unusual for a small or newly established firm to join together with a larger firm with excellent design experience, where mutual respect is the starting point," said Fredric M. Bell, executive director of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects. "The addition of an extra set of hands is actually very, very positive, so long as those hands aren't grasping his commission away from him."

    The job may even be too big for the original design team and an associate. The corporation will also be looking for at least eight other specialists in engineering, water features, pedestrian movement, lighting design, security and accessibility.

    Neither Mr. Arad nor development corporation officials discussed the candidates being considered. Instead, partners or principals at seven firms confirmed their presence on the list and identified others whom they understood to be under consideration. All are pledged to confidentiality so none would discuss their applications.

    Kevin M. Rampe, the corporation president, said, "The involvement of a world-class architectural firm in the process will bring a depth of resources and understanding that will be essential in ensuring that the vision selected is ultimately realized."

    Even the title "associate architect" - rather than assistant architect or production architect - signals that the corporation envisions an important role. How the collaboration works will depend in part on the choice, since the prospects range from firms that are associated with strong individuals to firms of a more collective nature.

    The design of Freedom Tower, north of the memorial, seemed at times to be a contest pitting David M. Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, as architect for the developer, against Studio Daniel Libeskind, as master planner for the development corporation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

    But that problem may have had less to do with two strong-willed architects than with architects working for different clients. In the case of the memorial, the client over the long run, until the memorial is completed in about 2008, will be the World Trade Center Site Memorial Foundation, which is now being formed.

    The design has already changed, though not in basic principle, since Mr. Arad entered the competition last year, along with 5,200 other competitors, Mr. Walker among them. He originally envisioned a flat, open plaza around the voids and no other structures on the memorial site block, bounded by Fulton, Greenwich, Liberty and West Streets.

    At the insistence of the development corporation, which has earmarked the block for a mix of memorial and cultural uses, Mr. Arad included a museum along West Street and added some trees. The jury insisted that Mr. Arad be joined by a landscape architect and he chose Peter Walker & Partners of Berkeley, Calif. Together, they produced a more lushly landscaped plan, with the cultural buildings at Fulton and Greenwich Streets. This was unveiled in January.

    Until recently, Mr. Arad, 34, worked for the Housing Authority. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said in January that he was "especially proud" that the memorial's winning designer was a city employee. But Mr. Arad has since gone off on his own. "There's only so long you can be on leave of absence," he explained yesterday.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  9. #39
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    The Catskills


    What a contrast in tenor and mood from a month ago! (Arad must have met his Dutch uncle.) This is welcome news. May this arranged collaboration be free from the drama and strife of the FT. As the article states, the LMDC is the common client and final arbiter. Let hope spring and the speculations begin.

  10. #40


    Portrait of Michael Arad!!!!

  11. #41

  12. #42


    Crains NY

    Associate architect for WTC memorial

    The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. has named Davis Brody Bond as the associate architect for the World Trade Center memorial.

    The downtown-based firm will work on the project with Michael Arad and Peter Walker, whose Reflecting Absence design-featuring two reflecting pools on the site of the footprints of the Twin Towers--was picked last year by a committee. Davis Brody Bond's previous projects in the city include work at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Apollo Theater Foundation, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

    A recent report in The New York Times suggested that the LMDC sought an associate architect because it considers the project too big for Mr. Arad, a former city Housing Authority employee who has been a registered architect for just one year, and Mr. Walker, a landscape architect.

    Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

  13. #43


    April 14, 2004

    Architectural Team Is Chosen for Trade Center Memorial


    The trade center memorial's design team includes, from left, Steven M. Davis, Carl Krebs, Christopher K. Grabe; and Richard H. Franklin.

    A decade after preparing a sweeping plan to revitalize the public spaces at the World Trade Center, the firm of Davis Brody Bond was designated yesterday as associate architect for the memorial that is to be built on the trade center site.

    Davis Brody Bond was chosen by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to work with the architect Michael Arad and the landscape architect Peter Walker, who won a juried competition with their proposal, "Reflecting Absence."

    The corporation also approved a $45 million contract with the Gilbane Building Company of Providence, R.I., to dismantle 130 Liberty Street, a 40-story building near ground zero.

    The demolition of 130 Liberty Street - called "deconstruction" by state officials to distinguish it from an implosion - was accounted for in the final environmental impact statement, which the board also approved yesterday during its monthly meeting.

    Responses to 671 comments and criticisms from 330 individuals and organizations were included in the final impact statement. An electronic copy is expected to be available tomorrow evening at

    "Some adverse impacts are inevitable if the significant benefits of the proposed action are to be realized," said the new version of the impact statement.

    The document cited "significant traffic, noise and short-term air quality impacts" during construction, which will overlap for a time with other projects.

    While the memorial would "honor the victims of Sept. 11 and enhance the historic significance of the site," the statement continued, the project "would also likely require removal of some remnants of the former W.T.C."

    The president of the development corporation, Kevin M. Rampe, said Davis Brody Bond would "bring a depth of resources and understanding that will be essential in ensuring the vision selected is ultimately realized."

    In a statement released by the corporation, Mr. Arad said he was "fortunate to have such strong support to assist me in this complex endeavor."

    Vartan Gregorian, who served as chairman of the memorial jury, commissioned work from the firm when he was president of the New York Public Library and later of Brown University. "They would not do anything, in my opinion, to scuttle the vision of Arad and Walker," Dr. Gregorian said yesterday, "and they also know the ways of New York and how things are done."

    Steven M. Davis will serve as the design partner; J. Max Bond Jr., whose projects include the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the King Center in Atlanta, will be the partner in charge; Christopher K. Grabé, production director; and Richard H. Franklin, an alumnus of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, project manager.

    Davis Brody Bond may be best known locally for its expansion of the Harvard Club at 27 West 44th Street, and for renovations and additions to the public library's humanities and social sciences building, at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.

    About 90 people work for the firm at 315 Hudson Street, between Spring and Vandam Streets. As many as 20 or 30 may be involved in the memorial. With planning for the new World Trade Center dominated for a time by white men, Mr. Bond and Mr. Franklin, both of whom are black, have been calling for a more diverse array of voices.

    "The staff we're bringing to the project is a staff that looks pretty much like New York," Mr. Bond said.

    The firm is also familiar with the site because of its work for the Port Authority in the early 90's, when it planned new structures on the plaza, a new layout of the shopping concourse and new landscaping. "I don't think the irony is lost on any of us," Mr. Davis said. "Our knowledge of what was, will be very valuable to this process."

    Perhaps uniquely among the architects working on rebuilding ground zero, Mr. Franklin can say of the trade center, "It was my home for 17 years."

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  14. #44


    April 21, 2004


    Breaking Molds, and Then Designing New Ones


    NOT long before he graduated from Harvard with a master's degree in architecture, J. Max Bond Jr., whose firm Davis Brody Bond was named associate architect for the ground zero memorial last week, recalls being chummily taken aside by one of the gurus of Harvard's architecture program and receiving an unfriendly shock. The professor advised him to exit the architect business before he'd even dipped his toe in it. Talent and intelligence weren't his liability; toe color was.

    African-American architects of note, the professor casually informed him, were virtually nonexistent. A bright young man like him-he had a diploma from Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta at 13 and entered Harvard at 16-would do himself a favor by picking another profession and chasing a different dream. Just another case of life not being all that fair in the late 50's, not even for the trilingual (English, French and Spanish) son of a pair of progressive Southern educators who raised him to believe that there were no limits. It was in Tuskegee, Ala., that he first became intrigued by large-scale architecture: the objects of his attention were warehouses for World War II fighter planes.

    Mr. Bond, now 68 and a bit of a graying guru himself, elected not to take the professor's advice and segregate himself from the unfair side of life. Just as he elected not to take the hint when a cross was burned on the lawn in front of his dormitory in the spring of his freshman year at Harvard. Beneath that crisply pressed lavender shirt lurks a steel spine: 50 years removed from the insults, he does not excuse them, but he comes close to laughing them off. Certainly he has outgrown them. Besides, how could his Harvard professor not have known that the institution's own library was built by a black architect, Julian Abele? That still stumps him.

    "Welcome to Harvard," says Mr. Bond, contemplatively, which is how he says most things. Hilarity and irony aren't his style. His manner is professorial; no wonder, as he had spent six years as dean of the School of Architecture and Environmental Studies at City College and has also been chairman of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture and Planning.

    But he evidently bears his alma mater no great grudge: his college became his client when he was hired to renovate the Harvard Club in Manhattan, an official New York City landmark. He says it came as no surprise that the old diversity bugaboo cropped up at blueprint time: the club's facilities for women were woefully inadequate because, of course, women were not on the original membership list. These "subliminal slights conveyed by the architecture," as Mr. Bond refers to them, have been noted and corrected. He took pleasure in the process.

    At least he felt welcome when he became Davis Brody Bond's first and only black partner (he admits he'd love to see that second thing change) in 1990 after his partner, Don Ryder, retired from their own firm, Bond Ryder & Associates, after two decades. "Architecture was and remains one of the more segregated professions," he says, "and too much of architecture is sort of dictatorial. Certain architectural decisions have a larger economic and social impact than people realize."

    Cases in point: At the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, he used sapele, a wood from Africa, for the interior paneling. At the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Atlanta, he used wood indigenous to the South and, in deference to the wishes of Dr. King's parents and widow that the memorial not be intimidating, the only "fancy" material is the marble of the crypt. For his first widely recognized project, the Bolgatanga Library in Ghana, he experimented with a parasol-shaped roof that made it possible for the library to protect its collection even if its air-conditioning faltered. He spent four years in Ghana and both his children were born there.

    HE is perched on a red chair in his office at 315 Hudson Street, where the river provides a protean backdrop and his favorite photograph of Miles Davis, a haunting candid by Frank Stewart, hangs at eye level across from his desk. His bookcase and files take up an entire wall, and he anticipates that the World Trade Center memorial will generate another wall's worth of paperwork. Mr. Bond is partner-in-charge of a pool of 20 Davis Brody Bond professionals who will work with the memorial's creators, the architect Michael Arad and the landscape architect Peter Walker.

    Mr. Bond stresses this is a collaboration, not a takeover. "We're not coming in as critics," he says. "And we're not particularly diva-ish. Our objective is to take their concept and figure out how to realize it, to keep the design's integrity intact but also figure out all these problems, everything from infrastructure to security to lighting to fountains to the hardware on the doors. It's a wonderful opportunity to implement something that is going to carry great historical and emotional meaning."

    He was delighted when Mr. Arad won the competition with "Reflecting Absence." Mr. Bond said, "So many young people died in the twin towers that day, that it seemed wonderful to me that the memorial competition was won by a young designer."

    Mr. Bond, who is on the quiet side, - no flashy hobbies - lives in Washington Heights with his wife, Jean Carey Bond. He does not go by his first name, which happens to be James, and that's just as well. "The last time I had a martini was 25 years ago," he says. "I drank two, and when I went to stand up, I couldn't get out of my chair."

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  15. #45


    April 25, 2004

    New Partners for Architect of Memorial at 9/11 Site


    Girding for the commission of a lifetime - translating an evocative idea into the reality of a permanent World Trade Center site memorial - New York's best-known unknown architect, Michael Arad, has joined a 50-person firm in Manhattan.

    Mr. Arad already has a collaborator on the memorial design: the landscape architect Peter Walker of Berkeley, Calif., who joined the project before it was selected by a jury on Jan. 5. And he has an associate architect: the Manhattan firm of Davis Brody Bond, which was chosen April 13 by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

    What he did not have until last week was a full-fledged partner. Now he has four.

    On Monday, Mr. Arad was named a partner in Handel Architects, a 10-year-old firm that reshaped the Lincoln Center area in the 1990's with mixed-use projects for Millennium Partners. It designed three high-rise apartment buildings atop large retail bases where Tower Records, Barnes & Noble, Gracious Home and others do business.

    "This series of blocks used to really separate Lincoln Center from what was the heart of the Upper West Side," Gary Edward Handel, the founding partner, said in an interview on Friday to discuss Mr. Arad's appointment. "And now it's connected."

    Connection is a theme of Mr. Arad's plan for two great voids surrounded by a landscaped plaza. "So much of my desire for the site is to see it integrated back into the city," he said. His vision poses an extraordinary design challenge, given the irregular topography of the site and competing demands for space in, around and below the plaza.

    "I'd like to think I know enough to know that I don't know enough," Mr. Arad said. "But if I knew any more, it might have been paralyzing."

    Mr. Arad continued: "It's great sometimes to be able to just talk things through with a partner and then decide what you want to do. Having a conversation all to yourself is not as fruitful. You're not getting another perspective on the matter. You're just either reaffirming yourself or doubting yourself, but never in a critical way."

    Mr. Arad, 34, said he "just clicked" with Mr. Handel, 48, when they met through Michael K. De Chiara, a lawyer who represents them both, and Peter Claman, another architect. As it happens, the partners are both alumni of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.

    "It's almost like a shared DNA," Mr. Arad said. "I felt that I could confide in him and that we would be able to work together very well."

    Handel Architects is the new name of Gary Edward Handel & Associates. About 50 people work at Broadway and 68th Street, looking out at two of the firm's Lincoln Center projects. Handel also has offices in San Francisco and Miami. It has designed mixed-use projects for Millennium Partners in Battery Park City and in Boston, Washington, San Francisco and Miami.

    The firm, rather than Mr. Arad, will now hold the memorial design contract with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Unlikely as a memorial seems in this portfolio, Mr. Handel said, "The opportunity to use your skills to contribute to such an important project is something you can't walk away from."

    The project will throw an international spotlight on a firm that few New Yorkers know about. But it will also exert its own tremendous demands. "This project will be something that cannot be put aside," Mr. Handel said. "It will have first call on all of our time and it may mean that we have to pass on other opportunities to do work."

    Handel Architects is to move downtown in July. About his name not being on the door, Mr. Arad said, "It might free you up to be a little more experimental sometimes, when you don't feel like everything is focusing on you."

    When he was chosen to design the memorial, Mr. Arad was employed by the New York City Housing Authority. A kind of instant legend was born of the young designer, on his own, catapulted into the ranks of architectural titans at the trade center site.

    The reality has been more complex, as Mr. Arad himself points out.

    From late January until last week, he was back at the office of Kohn Pedersen Fox, which provided logistical and technical help with preliminary documents, together with a group of temporary subcontractors including Hobbs Architectural Fountains and the engineering firms STV; Jaros, Baum & Bolles; and Severud Associates.

    "Everybody felt the urgency and importance of it and wanted to support in whatever way would be most effective," said Gregory T. Waugh, a senior associate principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox. "Everybody here felt that sense of purpose."

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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